Championship play-off final: WhoScored.com's Brentford-Swansea combined XI
A repeat of last season’s play-off semi-final awaits on Saturday, as Brentford take on Swansea with a Premier League spot up for grabs.
Ahead of the clash at Wembley, WhoScored.com take a look at their combined XI between the play-off finalists…
Goalkeeper: David Raya (Brentford) – 6.66 rating
Brentford are the dominant side in this Championship play-off final combined XI, with David Raya the first Bees representative. Raya (6.66) edges out Freddie Woodman (6.56) between the sticks, having conceded the fifth fewest goals (38) and returned the second best save success rate (71.6 per cent) of those to have made 25 or more appearances this season.
Centre-back: Ben Cabango (Swansea) – 7.14 rating
The first Swansea player in the side is young centre-back Ben Cabango with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.14. The Welshman has been a rock at the heart of the Swans defence this season, with his five clearances per game ranking among the best in the division. Four goals and two assists has helped push his average so high.
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Centre-back: Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) – 7.01 rating
Joining Cabango at the back in this three-man defence is Brentford’s Ethan Pinnock. An average of 4.9 clearances per game ranks 11th in the Championship this season to reinforce a WhoScored.com style of play of ‘clears the ball out of defence often’. In addition, an 84.5 per cent pass success rate is one of the better returns in the division to help garner a WhoScored.com rating of 7.01.
Centre-back: Ryan Bennett (Swansea) – 6.98 rating
While Ryan Bennett is unlikely to start the Championship play-off final – with Steve Cooper favouring a 4-3-3 setup of late that sees Cabango partner Marc Guehi at the heart of the Swansea defence – the 31-year-old proved a solid capture at the turn of the year. If needed, the experienced Bennett may yet play a key role at Wembley.
Right midfield: Connor Roberts (Swansea) – 6.87 rating
Handed a more advanced role when Cooper used a three-man defence, Connor Roberts grabbed the chance to display his attacking qualities. Indeed, only Emiliano Buendia (122) has made more key passes than Roberts (85) in the Championship this season, while five goals and seven assists was also a superb return for the Welshman.
Central midfield: Matt Grimes (Swansea) – 6.99 rating
Swansea will hope for a captain’s performance in Saturday’s final. Matt Grimes certainly stepped up to the plate in Swansea’s semi-final win over Barnsley, netting the crucial goal that sent the Swans to Wembley over the weekend. Only Oliver Skipp (2208) has made more accurate passes than Grimes (2011) of midfielders in the Championship this season in what has been another commendable campaign from the 25-year-old.
Central midfield: Vitaly Janelt (Brentford) – 6.87 rating
Vitaly Janelt’s fourth league goal of the season might just have been his most important of 2020/21. The German scored five minutes after the restart against Bournemouth on Saturday to put Brentford 2-1 up in their eventual 3-2 aggregate win over the Cherries. A combined total of 139 tackles and interceptions is a solid return for Janelt who, with a WhoScored.com rating of 6.87, partners Grimes in the middle of the park.
Left midfield: Sergi Canos (Brentford) – 6.96 rating
Rounding off the midfield, Sergi Canos has been in and out of the Brentford side this season, with 13 of his 48 appearances coming from the bench, but the Spaniard has shone when called upon having had a direct hand in 17 league goals in 2020/21, scoring nine. Canos has been named the WhoScored.com man of the match in three of his last four outings, so is coming into the play-off final in good form.
Right wing: Andre Ayew (Swansea) – 7.12 rating
Andre Ayew gave Swansea the advantage in their play-off semi-final double header with Barnsley, with his first-half strike at Oakwell his 17th goal of the season. The Ghanaian has been superb under Cooper, with his four additional assists meaning he has had a direct hand in 21 of their 58 league goals this term. Cooper will be hoping for one final push from Ayew to see out the campaign on a high.
Striker: Ivan Toney (Brentford) – 7.40 rating
Spearheading the charge is Brentford goal machine Ivan Toney. The 25-year-old notched his 32nd league goal of the campaign in the Bees’ 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and is one of two players to reach double figures for both goals and assists in England’s second tier this term having added 10 assists. With a WhoScored.com rating of 7.40, Toney is the best-rated player of the two sides heading into Saturday’s meeting.
Left wing: Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford) – 6.89 rating
Finishing off the combined XI is young Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo, whose 10 assists this season is level with teammate Toney as the joint-fifth best record in the Championship. Those 10 assists have come from 59 key passes, one of the better returns in the division. Four of his eight league goals this season have come in his last nine outings, so Brentford fans are hoping Mbeumo can round off the campaign by helping the Bees join Norwich and Watford in the Premier League.
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